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Biogas schemes press ahead

British Gas is pressing ahead with five schemes to provide ‘green’ gas heating to homes, after the Government announced injecting biomethane into the grid would qualify for cash under the renewable heat incentive.

The first project, in which British Gas will be working with Thames Water and Scotia Gas Networks, involves a plant at Didcot sewage works to clean biogas created in sewage processing and feed it into the grid.

The first green gas could be flowing from the site into the grid this summer, British Gas said.

British Gas demonstration schemes are likely to be the first to inject biomethane - made from organic material such as sewage, slurry and food waste - into the grid.

Biomethane is similar to natural gas and can be upgraded for use in the existing gas network for people to use in their central heating boilers or even for cooking.

The other projects will begin with feasibility studies with four other companies to look at delivering biomethane from food waste and farm crops, manufacturing waste, farm waste slurry and brewery waste.

The incentive, which will pay fixed rates for the amount of heat energy generated from green sources, will apply to systems of all sizes including solar thermal panels, ground source heat pumps and biomass plants.

The scheme, which aims to boost the level of heat generated by renewables from less than 1% of total UK demand up to 12%, comes into force in April 2011.

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